Chromosomal instability is regarded as an underlying mechanism of neoplastic progression, integral to the clonal selection and evolution that leads to cancer. We evaluated chromosomal instability in premalignant Barrett's esophagus tissue using high resolution Affymetrix mapping 100K SNP arrays as patients progressed through three molecular stages of disease-CDKN2A(LOH) only, CDKN2A(LOH)/TP53(LOH), and CDKN2A(LOH)/TP53(LOH) with aneuploidy. Within individuals over time, we observed increases in both numbers and sizes of regions of LOH or copy number change. In the earliest CDKN2A(LOH) only samples, we detected few regions with both copy change and LOH, whereas copy loss and LOH were highly correlated in more advanced samples. These data indicate that genomic instability increases in severity and changes character during neoplastic progression. In addition, distinct patterns of clonal evolution could be discerned within a segment of Barrett's esophagus. Overall, this study illustrates that pre-malignant disease can be associated with extensive instability and clonal dynamics that evolve from an initial stage characterized by small recombination-based alterations to one with larger copy change events likely associated with mitotic instability.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.